LeTV was re-christened LeEco recently and launched two new mobile devices. The Top end flagship Le Max and the more well priced Le 1s. The Le 1s seems to be a very well timed disruptive entry into the very active budget segment that has become the real battlefield for market share. We spent time with this device. Let us take a detailed look at this new, interesting and disruptive entry into the mobile market
First and foremost, the build. It is mostly an aluminum finish. The battery is not removable, the finish has a golden tinge to it. The back side has two semi-curved strips on the top and bottom. The front has an almost bezel-free design. The finish on the rear is good to grip and does not cause any discomfort or slip when holding in the hand. The rear camera has a bit of a bump, very negligible and immediately after that you have the flash. Sitting right in the middle of the back side top is the finger print scanner that has a mirror finish. This does give the device a flagship/premium look. One peeve that we had was the fact that the scanner smudges very fast owing to the mirror finish. The top side has the earphone slot and an IR blaster. We have the usual suspects in the form of the antenna strips. The right side has the volume rocker and the power button. The bottom houses the USB type C charging slot and the speaker grill. The left side has the SIM tray that DOES NOT double as a micro SD slot. Hence no storage expansion. Not complaining as the internal storage is 32 GB and given the price, that is quite adequate. In short, holding and looking at the device gives you a fairly premium feel.
The Le 1s runs on MediaTek’s latest Mt6795 Helios X10 octa-core processor and has 3GB RAM. The device is considerably fast and did not show any lag or stutter while multi-tasking. The Power VR G6200 GPU did pretty well when we tried running our favorite games like Asphalt, Modern Combat 5 and similar stuff. Very noticeably, the phone didn’t heat up during the gaming marathons that we had with it. There is 32 GB of internal storage available. The device comes with the usual connectivity features like Bluetooth and WiFi, no support for NFC or DLNA. The 3,000 mAh battery supports fast charging that gives us roughly one hour of standby time with just five minutes of charging with a USB Type C cable. The faster charging process happens even when connected to a laptop or a desktop. You can enable this when connecting the device to USB on a desktop or a laptop. The phone supports two 4G SIM cards.
The phone comes with a 5.5-inch fHD display that supports maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Watching movies or playing games on this smartphone is a breeze. The video and images on the screen were brilliantly rendered. The viewing angles are good. Sunlight visibility is decent. The call quality and sound were good. We did not face any issues with 4G/3G/2G connectivity with the phone. Playing music on the phone was smooth with no noticeable distortions or other issues. Not perfect, but no complaints there at all.
The phone comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera that supposedly takes only about 0.09th of a second to focus. The camera churns out very vivid and clear pictures in conditions of varying light without noticeable noise or any spots and stuff . If you are one of those creative people who takes pics without using the flash in low-light conditions, you should know that there aren’t many cameras that can help you. Hence we are not going to try that or recommend that. The front 5 MP camera is pretty nifty and the selfies and video chats are clean and neat. There isn’t a manual or professional mode for the cameras. We get slow motion, video, still capture and panorama as the available preset modes. I am sure that LeEco is working on an OTA fix for this, since it isn’t a hardware issue, it will be relatively easy for them to do that. We couldn’t edit the photos on the go, the camera UI has many preset filters that you can try though. Coupled with apps like Snapseed, editing is a breeze. In summary, the camera is more of a hit on both the front and the back if you ask me.
The OS version on the phone is Android Lollipop 5.0.2 and there is a custom EUI 5.5 that you interact with. The UI is smooth and light, there is no sign of bloatware or windy/nested customization. There is no app drawer and all apps are on the home screens. The notification tray lives up to its name here, there are only notifications there and absolutely no toggles or other settings. These have been moved to the square shaped hardware key on the left corner which usually opens the running apps in other android phones. The Le 1s has the setting toggles and just about every possible setting shortcut there. In the middle you have the currently running apps and can then swipe them up to kill them. This change of things will take a little getting used to. It took us a couple of days.
The phone also has an IR Blaster like we mentioned, so with the right app that can detect and couple with the devices you have at home, this can lead to a lot of “interesting” situations
The battery does not give rise to any issues. On average use with WiFi on, it lasted about 11.5 hours. We did a video loop test and got roughly 6 hours with it. The fast charge option is handy as we mentioned earlier. Helps when we need juice fast and need to get going.
The iPhone influence is very pronounced and LeEco will do well to tone that down a notch in future.
Given the price of Rs 10,999/- it is extremely difficult to see any other device that looks and feels so good and packs so much performance. This one is one of the best value for money phones. We would like to think of it as a segment leader. We will be watching this one with interest.